Amazing time-travel pictures combine past and present

These moving images match photographs of locations in the present day with the ghosts of the momentous historical events that happened there.

Created by photographer Seth Taras, they were the basis of a 2010 ad campaign for the History Channel – accompanied by the poignant message ‘Know where you stand’.

Mr Taras travelled the world shooting his pictures from the exact spot that major historical events were captured, then used photo editing software to blend these with their older counterparts.

Hindenburg airship exploding

A dog-walker strolls with his pet through a quiet field in New Jersey, lost in his own thoughts beneath an overcast sky. Behind him, the phantom of a vast airship, consumed by fire, plummets to Earth.

This image combines a view of a field in Lakehurst, New Jersey, where the Hindenburg airship came crashing catastrophically to the ground in 1937.

Lakehurst, New Jersey, USA 1937/2004
Lakehurst, New Jersey, USA 1937/2004

The striking airship image shows a field in Lakehurst, New Jersey, where the LZ 129 Hindenburg airship – the pride of German aviation – crashed on Thursday, May 6, 1937.

The Hindenburg burst into flames and plunged to the ground as it tried to dock, claiming the lives of 36 passengers and crew and effectively ending the era of travel by airship.

Soldiers coming through Normandy beach

The peaceful beaches of Normandy were once the location of the biggest amphibious invasion in the history of warfare, as this picture shows.

On the beaches of Normandy, the ghosts of the soldiers who brought freedom back to the continent re-enact their daring invasion, leaping from their landing craft as a mother and daughter look for crabs in the chilly waters.

Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, Normandy, 1944/2004
Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, Normandy, 1944/2004

The final poignant image of Allied soldiers rushing the beach at Normandy was taken on D-Day, June 6, 1944, as part of the massive invasion that finally rolled back the fascist tyranny that had gripped the continent.

The Berlin Wall with two police men

Briefcase in hand, a businessman talks down his mobile phone as he walks purposefully through Berlin – right through the ghost of the wall which split the city in two for nearly 30 years.

This image marries views of Berlin from the present and from the time in 1989 that work began to take down the wall which once split the city.

On the Strasse des slebzehnten Juni, Berlin, 1989/2004
On the Strasse des slebzehnten Juni, Berlin, 1989/2004

The Berlin photograph shows one of the final images of that city’s infamous wall in 1989, just before it was torn down to reunite East and West Germany after decades of Communist dictatorship.

Hitler in front of the Eiffel Tower

In Paris, a young couple lounge reading the papers on a wall before the majestic rise of the Eiffel Tower, the city’s most well-known landmark.

This combination of pictures makes viewers wonder how many people have stood before the Eiffel Tower unaware that Adolf Hitler once stood victorious in the same spot.

The terrace of the palais de Chaillot, Paris, 1940/2004
The terrace of the palais de Chaillot, Paris, 1940/2004

Unbeknownst to them, an apparition of Adolf Hitler, Europe’s most notorious modern-day dictator stands victoriously beside them after his Wehrmacht forces took the French capital by force.

For his efforts, Mr Taras was awarded the Cannes Lion for the campaign

Self-taught Mr Taras, from the U.S., is one of Luerzer’s Archives 200 Best Photographers Worldwide and the winner of a string of international awards.

These images earned him a Cannes Lion, and the ‘Know Where You Stand’ campaign was translated into 30 languages and published in 130 countries.

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